A South African, married to an American, finally adapting to my adopted country. I love life, laughter, good friends and the warmth that my two kids have filled me with. I glory in the colors of my life and am grateful for the gray days as they allow me to appreciate the rainbows.

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Location: New York, United States

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Princess Nikki

The latest FAD for birthday parties are the glamour girl events. They are really hysterical. The party place sets up a mini beauty salon complete with mini barber chairs - they get a complete makeover, hair, nails, make up and then they do dances, all made up. I have to say they are so friggin' adorable - it is quite a sight. Really loud. As Josh says - he has seen hell, it is pink, fuzzy and full of screaming kids :)

Nikki and her Lady's in Waiting
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Don't you love the make up and hair extentions
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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Many March Celebrations.........

March Madness, now that explains it :) March is a month with many reasons to celebrate, firstly because it heralds the start of Spring which is my all time favourite season and it is the month when I acknowledge two of the special people in my life who celebrate birthdays. My friends Andi and Dawn. Happy and healthy birthday to you both. I hope this year brings you every happiness you deserve and desire.

March is also special as it heralds Josh and my 9th Wedding Anniversary. We took an oath 9 years ago and created a world we call our family. Its been a long road and I am grateful we have managed to travel it together. I meet many people in my travels but the one thing I know, there is no other man better suited for me and I am grateful to the powers that be that helped me realize that no matter how much I faught the idea that he was the man I was going to spend my life with, he is the right man for me and although he may annoy me at times our love grows stronger every day and I am so grateful I have him to care for me. I've got you babe.........

One of my favourite wedding pics, walking down the stairs of my parents townhouse - just love the security gate at the bottom. It completely freaked Josh out when he saw it.
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Up in smoke...............

45 years later smoking pays off big time. Smoke it will calm your nerves during your pregnancy and ease your morning sickness her doctor told her. Now 45 years later her doctors at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital removed her lung, blackened by cancer and the smoke that was her life blood for so long.

My mother-in-law (May) is a very strong willed and stubborn individual. She has 9 lives, incredible luck. She had unbelievably high blood pressure, the doctors prescribed medications in April 2003 which she refused to take. Memorial Day Weekend 2004 (at the end of the month of May) we received a frantic call from May's friend Myrna.

Myrna lives in Manhattan, she has a second home in my neighbourhood, she is NEVER here on a weekend, but had a Barmitzvah and was staying over. She called May on Friday Night as they had plans to get together, May said she was not feeling well, which is often the case and Myrna thought nothing of it. The next morning Myrna called her to see how she was doing heard May was slurring her words. Myrna put the phone down and dialed 911, she instantly knew May was having a stroke. She called us and we met the ambulance - May had no idea who Josh and I were.

The stroke was the luckiest thing to happen to her as they found the begining stages of lung cancer, 6 more months and she would have died, talk about it not being your time to go. May underwent extensive Chemo, beat the tumours on her lungs down to the point that she could be operated on. Last week she underwent a 9 hour procedure to remove half her lung, she came through like a trooper, she has the highest threshold for pain. We went to visit her the day after the operation, the woman was doing laps around the ward, plugged up to a million machines she still had the ability to walk at a pace and a half. I was amazed by her strength and determination. She is going to beat it, we know she will.

Her room mate was a social smoker for a few years, over 30 years ago. She kicked the habit. Thirty years ago. Last week she too had her lung removed. As her doctor told her, its not what you did yesterday that counts its what you did thirty years ago.

To those of you who greet the Marlboro Man on a regular or not so regular babsis, take a walk through the largest cancer hospital in the world and see what this seemingly innocuous habit can do to you............................ Please stop today to increase your chances of having a healthy tomorrow, Dad that means you too.

Monday, March 21, 2005

PTA Parent Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

I am one of those nuts who joined the PTA and tried to actually make things happen. I signed up for committees and actually worked on them - who knew such a thing could happen. Last year I ran the Halloween Committee and created the first ever haunted house - it was a huge hit and of course a lot of work. I am my own worst enemy as I get so caught up in the whirlwind and excitement of it all that I just can't stop, I then end up wondering why nights and weekends are spent dealing with all this crap while the rest of my committee has to juggle nail appointments and tennis lessons. Being a working mom takes tons of juggling to start out with but my participation on the committee really affirms why it is that I work and how much I love what I do. I certainly could not deal with all this crap every day.

This latest committee is the Parent Teachers Appreciation luncheon where we say thank you to the teachers for all that they do. I must add the teachers are amazing and I feel fortunate that my kids will be taught by such a dedicated, enthusiastic and caring group of people. This luncheon is our chance to cook, bake and serve the teachers a luncheon of note. Poor Josh gets caught in my hair brain schemes and had to make all the decorations for me, he made the sandcastle and the cabana frames - I get to just decorate it. He is so talented and there is nothing that he can't fix, build or make. I have never met anyone like him. Of course with his mind constantly working out how things work it brings to the fore how Women are from Venus and Men are truly from Mars. many the time we have sat there in a romantic setting, enjoying the view and I have turn to him and as any woman worth her salt would say "What are you thinking" in our earlier years he would go into detailed explainations about the fan above our head and how if it was angled at xyz it would be more efficient or how the motor on the boat we were on was working - all that fun romantic jargon!! He has certainly gotten smarter as he has gotten older and now replies "Oh I am thinking of you and how much I love you", we both know thats a crock but hey it keeps me happy and him out of trouble so it works :) Actually I must say he does appreciate me and tells me every day how much he loves me and how much I mean to him. But I digress, the teachers appreciation luncheon was really awesome and it was tough transforming the library into a beach but I think we did the best we could and it looked awesome. The funniest part is I have a neighbour who does not particularly like Josh and I, she is about what car you drive, which beach club you belong to and obviously I don't give a continental about any of that stuff. As luck would have it she ended up running the committee and her and I were really the only two who did any work on it. Its amazing how things work as her youngest daughter is 2 weeks older then Nikki and she has not been allowed to socialize with Nikki. I think we bonded to the point that she realizes her daughter would not be forever damaged to make our aquaintance, and while if it were up to me I would tell her exactly where to get off, I have a kid who will be at school with her child and I am grown up to know that the mom's don't have to vibe but I can't do anything to jeopardize my kids and have them subject to the preconceived ideas of the people who surround us. The worst part is I think she actually likes me now and that is a real quandry for her and her jetset crowd :)

Sandcastle entrance
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The beach cabana
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Friday, March 18, 2005

The greatest gift

The greatest gift I get as an immigrant is the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with those I love, especially the many people who share my heart and live on the opposite side of the world. Two such people are my cousin Lisa and my friend Andi, both of whom will be here in the next month. Lisa arrived today and Ands will be here at the begining of next month.

These are the times I treasure .... Billy Joel hit the nail on the head when he said "these are the times to remember for they will not last forever. Not only do I treasure the time we have and the new memories we create but I value the moments we can delve into and the remember whens. Having made many new and wonderful friends over the past few years we share many things but very few remember whens..............

This week I got to spend a whole day with my folks, just chatting, no kids no agenda, it was so nice. I had decided last year that the only time I saw my folks was to drop the kids or to have Friday Night dinners with them and while the kids relationships were strengthening we never really got to spend time together. So now I make it a priority and while it is not the best business decision, I would not want it any other way. Tomorrow night Josh and I will go out fo rdinner with them and leave the kids with the sitter, I want to treasure our time together as I truly feel the gap when they are gone.

Hug your loved ones for me.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Rocking Horse Ranch Pics

Here are picks from our trip to Rocking Horse Ranch - see archives January for details.

Nikki and I - see the horses in the background (no wise cracks please :) and the ski slope
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Josh Dropping Ryan off at Camp at Rocking Horse Ranch
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Nikki on New Years Eve
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Ryan on New Years Eve
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The girls and I - not how I am gritting my teeth saying "take the picture already" - New Years Eve 2004/2005
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Friday, March 11, 2005

The four cuties again :)
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Nikki (4), Gary(4.5), Ryan(6) and Joey(18months) - Heidi's boys and my girls at Hollywood Beach in Florida.
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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Another Day in Paradise

I wonder how it happened. Here I am living this life I lead. I spend many a moment wondering about how I got to be in the place I am, part of a master plan? My fate? My destiny? Or just a series of lucky accidents that bring me to this point. Ryan has a very special friend at school who she adores, she has many friends that she aspires to be like, yes the cool kids start stepping out from the crowd early. Yet there is one boy who steals her heart, when given the choice of having a playdate with one of the super cool kids or the other boy, she chose Jake. Jake has many issues, he has a full-time aid in the class to work with him. He is quite handicapped and Ryan still wants him above anyone else in the class to come over to our house. I asked her why and she simply answered, because he is kind to me. I felt right there that I knew she would be alright. My special little Ry, Ry, my butterfly. She has such a beautiful soul and sees the world in a way not many people do. It amazes me what she sees and remembers, she has some learning issues herself but is one of the smartest people I know. She retains huge amounts of information about people and events literally going back to when she was 2. She has this ability to see past people and into their souls. I know what it is like to see inside people, I was always that way, when I was younger I could wound with a word because instinctively I knew how to control as I got older I knew how to make it better and be kinder. She does it to be kind. It is quite uncanny seeing a part of yourself in someone else. Something that no-one else could ever understand but now someone does. Its a hard road having the kind of heart and the depth of caring that she has - oh my word how lucky to know her, she is a very special girl. She wrote this at school today and I want to share it with you.

Snowflakes Are Unique, Like Me
By Ryan B.
There are many reasons I am unique.
First I am unique because I have a little sister.
Next I am unique because I am nice.
Last, I am unique because I am good at listening.
In conclusion, I am unique like a snowflake.

How true it all is .............................. Ry you are a unique and special girl.

Ryan as a Dime in her school play :)
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Mommy and Ryanie
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How on earth did these wonderful creatures become mine???
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Nikki Pickles
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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Nikki and Mommy
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Nikki "driving" her Daddy's baby :)
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

The resilience of kids

We went to the city bright and early, actually it was way before bright. Loaded the car at 5am and set sail for the hum of Manhattan. Checked Ryan in at around 6am. 9am she had the surgery - 15 minutes later it was over. Thankfully she bounced back from the anesthetic with lightening speed, literally revved up around the ward. She is such a curious and delicious girl. Can't believe I have been lucky enough to be blessed with her and Nikki. Makes one appreciate them even more when you see how seriously messed up some of the other kids in the ward were. Count my blessings oh yes I do - everyday!!!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


There are moments in time that define who I am, reminiscent in a scent or a thought. As I trapse down memory lane. A decision so rash, a careless word, drawn to the teeth like a razor sharp sword.
I feel in my heart emotions so deep, they rise through me, out my skin they seem to seep.
Yet I turn a blind eye to all that goes on as I focus on the life that I lead,
I rise to the challenge like a knight on a steed.
Onward and upward I hear the lone ranger,
Occassionally I introduce myself to the thought in my soul and it it seems like a stranger.
Its hard and cruel and fraught full of danger.
But when I face my inner foes I am stronger I know,
Upward and onward I then can go.

I feel like I am running against the clock that is my time, there never seems to be a moment to slow down. The needs of a family are so vast it sometimes amazes me how I filled my days before I was married and it was just me. My friends. My family. My career. Where did I waste so many hours in so many days? I stand on the endge of my life and marvel at all that flies up in the air and can't believe the tight rope trapeze act that keeps it all there. I have just returned from Florida but must confess it was certainly no vacation. It is a magical place that captures ones soul and I must say that up until recently I would have moved there in a flash. Luckily I have turned a corner and have learned to enjoy NY and the life that I lead -its hectic and fast paced and leaves me out of breath but I love the challenges, the work that I do. The friends I have created and the opportunity to explore if I chose to take it. I spent a lot of time at war with this city that is now my home, it is a tough opponent but we have created a truce that works for both of us and I am so grateful. I get to love the Big Apple and take a little nibble out of it when the feeling calls, I love what it offers yet love being away from it all.
I am back with a vengance and a very full plate, I'll dip my apple in honey twice this time around as I wade through the next few days after my week in the sun. I have no tan to prove I was there just the photos of the times that we share. I miss my family I leave everytime and know that we will be united soon. I grieve for the moments I miss every day, my sweet little Joey is growing bigger each day and Gary no longer a baby but a real boy, I feel like I've turned around and they have grown, such sweet little creatures who live so far from us here, so divine, so sweet and so dear. I can't believe that sands of time have moved so quickly I have missed out on so much and am saddned to leave. I hope you can see how sacred our times together have been, the bonding of cousins and siblings too. Family that double edged sword that you referred to Jen, how right you are. I would take my chances, a knife thrower at best, I would welcome the wounds to have them all near by so we could have real ferribles instead of just watching the time fly by.

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